A real estate misrepresentation | AspenTimes.com

A real estate misrepresentation

Dear Editor:

Your Jan. 3 front page article, “Pitkin County real estate sales dip in ’07” again misrepresented the Aspen real estate market. Your decision to only report the numbers (which include everything from employee housing to trailers to $30 million homes and commercial/industrial) fails to accurately reflect on the Aspen/Snowmass residential scene … that which 99 percent of buyers and sellers are curious about when they ask “how is the market?”

Your choosing not to research sales (numbers of listings; numbers of condo, house and land sales vis-à-vis what was offered for sale in previous years), and Land Title’s all inclusive Pitkin County numbers, give the impression, thus your heading, that the market is down when actually, it’s up!

To explain, let me look ahead for an example of why you, and many others, are being mislead: In 2008 the Residences at Little Nell, and the original 89 Base Village Snowmass sales (less a few already closed), will be reported. Some $400 million in sales. Sales that went under contract in ’06 and ’07. If the market goes down $200,000 (just an example) the reporting of the $400,000 would show the market “up” when it would actually be “down.” The ’06/’07 numbers are the reverse.

Also, since Land Title’s numbers include all sales, in ’07, about $25 million of employee housing sales (mostly Burlingame) are included. The question “how is the market” for most reflects no interest in employee housing.

Furthermore, my own numbers include residential properties no farther than Woody Creek, including Brush Creek but not Snowmass (a different market) and do not include trailers, the AABC, hotel rooms, fractionals or commercial/industrial. My results show more residential sales in ’07 than ’06. But the bottom line, whether more or less, is how are prices and activity? Prices are up, inventory is scarce, activity is terrific.

Statistics lie all the time unless you qualify (research) what is or isn’t included. We are very fortunate here to have such a vibrant real estate market. Let’s not be mislead by this inaccurate reporting. To repeat, anyone using complete Pitkin County numbers to report on the Aspen residential market is wrong.

Philip L. Miller

Carbondale


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